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Nominees Announced For Nigeria Oil & Gas Awards (NOGA)


A list of nominees has been announced for the four categories listed in the inaugural Nigeria Oil and Gas Awards (NOGA).

The categories include Company of the Year, Award for Innovation, Corporate Social Impact and Woman of the Year.

The ceremony is scheduled to hold at the Intercontinental Hotels in Lagos on the 1st of November, 2019.

“These awards present a significant opportunity to promote and acknowledge the outstanding contributions and excellence of organizations and individuals who typify the most admirable business values in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry while contributing to the nation’s economic growth”, says Naomi Okoja, project coordinator and head of steering committee of the awards.

Eighteen companies have been nominated for these categories following strict performance guidelines.

Niger Delta Exploration and Production, Seplat Petroleum Development Company, ND Western Limited, Aiteo Exploration &Production, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, TOTAL Exploration and Production Nigerian Ltd, and Chevron Nigeria Limited are in the running for the Company of the Year Award while the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), LEKOIL, WalterSmith Petroman Oil Limited, BakerHughesGE, Petrolex, OilServ, LADOL, and Nestoil are the final nominees in the Award for Innovation category.

The Corporate Social Impact category sees Belemaoil Producing Company, Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), LEKOIL, First E&P, Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited, Seplat Petroleum Development Company and the NLNG Limited vying for the top spot.

Brittania U’s Catherine Uju Ifejika, LADOL’s Amy Jaiyesimi (Ph.D), TOTAL’s Barbara Patrick Isicheli, Ashrami Energy Limited’s Olajumoke Ajayi Chevron’s Michelle Obatoyinbo and CONOIL’s Abimbola Adenuga are the nominees in the Woman of the Year category.

This event is supported by:


Memo on The Global Energy Village

By Grard Kreeft

Outlining the Vision

In 2020 the Global Energy Village will be celebrating it’s 20th anniversary. We enjoy the institutional support from GIE (Gas Infrastructure Europe) and IGU (International Gas Union).  What started in Paris as a gas storage event focusing on the storage operators has now evolved to become an institutional strategic link. Hydrogen storage. The strategic missing piece in the renewable energy and energy transition debate. Battery storage can provide some relief but the huge capacity of the gas storages are in essence the key  strategic links in any discussion regarding energy transition.

The Global Energy Village has viewed the gas market unbundling, the evolvement of the storage market, the optimism of gas buyers and sellers, and the pessimism that has clouded the market for the last 5-7 years . Reactions have been mixed. Some storage operators are waiting for a better day; others are beginning to shut  their storages down; and still others are merging their activities.

One bright note has been the power-to gas transition: first the discussion of whether the gas networks could tolerate   a minimal mixture of hydrogen (H2). This discussion has evolved to new visions . Not whether natural gas networks can tolerate a minimum amount of H2 but how in the next 25 years the natural gas networks can be converted to H2 networks. Witness H21 in Leeds and the plans of Gasunie in the Netherlands. This is the vision.

The technical implementation and roll-out to a critical public are the next vital steps. Technically we are fast approaching acceptance from the energy community. RAG’s Sun Project has demonstrated that hydrogen storage will happen! Further evidence is being shown by the field trials now being carried out by Gasunie. And of course the Leeds H21 project.

The Rollout

The next phase will be the rollout to the Storage Community, both in Europe and Asia.  Given its long track record, my consulting company, EnergyWise,  can play a serious role. Our staging area is Leeds. In 2019 and again in 2020. Parallel to the European Global Energy Village GEV) we will be also launching a GEV in Japan to coincide with the Japanese 2020 Summer Olympics.  The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMC) seeks to promote hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs) and use the Olympic Games as a springboard.

Japan’s goal is that by 2030, it will reduce its CO2 emissions 26% below 2013 levels. In 2014 the Japanese Government unveiled its strategic Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Roadmap.

At the last three Global Energy Village venues Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has presented and updated us on its Green (Hydrogen) Value Chain.  The project is focused on the mass production of H2 utilizing brown coal imported from Australia. The value chain uses similar patterns adopted for Japan’s LNG imports. A long lead time and a project with a long-term perspective (25 years plus). We hope to build on these experiences for our Japanese Global Energy Village.


April – November 2019 Marketing and Drafting Programme

Advisory Committee Meetings Europe & Japan

Note: We are looking for industry champions who see this as an opportunity to expand their energy horizons!

December- March 2020 Finalization Programme

Advisory Committee Meetings Europe & Japan

April 2020 Global Energy Village 2020 Summit

September/October 2020 Global Energy Village Summit


Gerard Kreeft, MA (Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) is founder and owner of EnergyWise.  The company has since 2001 managed and implemented the Global Energy Village in various European venues. The company has worked throughout  the globe: Angola,  Brazil, Canada, India, Kazakhstan, Libya and Russia  implementing oil and gas  conferences, seminars and master classes

President Lourenço Talks Restructuring, Invites All to Angola Oil & Gas Conference, 2019


Dear friends

The executive has been working on creating a business environment more favorable to domestic and foreign private investment in all branches of our economy.

We understand the need to diversify our economy, but remain cognizant of the fact that oil is the engine of our economic activity.

In recent times we have changed our policy of managing energy resources such as oil and gas to better serve the interests of the country and investors.

This new era in oil and gas is the result of Angola having adopted a totally transparent management of the tenders. Creating a national Agency that becomes the concessionaire of the country’s petroleum resources. Sonangol is also being restructured to focus on the production, refining and distribution of petroleum products and natural gas.

In summary, we are applying the best international practices in a fundamental sector for the economy of Angola. We will explain this in detail at the international conference “Angola Oil & Gas 2019”, which we will hold in Luanda, from June 4 to 6, to which all invited.

We count on everyone!

João Gonçalves Lourenço is the President of Angola

Belemaoil Is ‘Carpeting’ OML 55 in 3D Seismic Survey

The Nigerian independent Belemaoil has started work acquiring three dimensional (3D) seismic data on its Oil Mining Lease (OML) 55 in the eastern Niger Delta Basin, Eastern Nigeria.

The BGP/IDSL consortium is acquiring the data, which spans 1,300 square kilometres on the surface, covering the Robertkiri, Idama, Inda and Jokka fields in the acreage as well as some adjoining areas.

The surface area of OML 55 is 808 square kilometres, but if the desire is to cover the entire acreage, it is in the nature of seismic acquisition to survey more than the areal size of the asset, to ensure that every inch of the territory is accounted for in the resulting data set.

The survey’s fold of coverage is 180 and the company expects to acquire deeper than six to seven seismic seconds, so it can image possible reservoirs as deep as 14,000feet True Vertical Depth subsea.

“It will take some 20-24 months from now before the entire programme would be completed”, say sources at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC, the state hydrocarbon company and the non-operating Joint Venture partner to Belemaoil. “The entire place is in swamp and security challenges pose a constraint on the timing of the data acquisition process”.

Belemaoil produces about 9,500Barrels of Oil Per Day from OML 55 and is hoping to utilise the seismic data to improve the field development.


Drilling Contractors Hold Their Seventh Summit

The International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) Nigeria Chapter has held its 7th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos.

Ote Enaibe, current Chairman of the group, listed the activities of the outgoing year, which included Technical Sessions, Government and Regulatory Events, HSE AWARDS Ceremony, 2018 IADC Conference participation and five (5) new members joining the body.

L-R, Chuks Enwereji, Marvelyn Ehika, Juliet Adesunloye and Ote Enaibe, IADC NIGERIA CHAPTER Exco

Vice-Chairman Chuks Enwereji reviewed the year’s overall Health Safety and Environment performance, which is the most crucial set of metrics in the drilling industry.

In spite of its importance, members’ participation in the HSE review is low. For three years running, 2016-2018, only seven out of the 25 corporate members have participated in the HSE Review. The Vice Chairman pleaded for increased member participation. Drilling activities man-hours done in Africa accounts for the third highest amount in the world-wide drilling space. Conversely the continent accounts for the second highest amount of fatalities. Nigeria is a major African player. Reducing Total Recordable Incidence Rate (TRIR) is an IADC targeted mandate. Cardinal Drilling won the HSE Award for 2018. The next HSE Award ceremony holds Q2 2019.

Enwereji applauded members for supporting the Biennial Conference of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). He promoted the 2020 IADC African Drilling Conference, which though championed by Host Chapter Nigeria, will be held in Ghana based upon the cloud of perceived security challenges bedevilling the country.

IADC NIGERIA CHAPTER 2018 AGM Attendees present.


The 2018 IADC Nigeria Chapter Financial Report was presented by Marvelyn Ehika, who was officially confirmed as the new Treasurer of the association at the meeting. Her findings show the association’s 2017 budget was operated with a deficit of 4.5% amounting to a million naira shortfall. At year end 2017, only eight (8) members had fully paid up their association dues. A fall-out of the slump in hydrocarbon business activities occasioned by low oil prices. The 50% drop in subvention fees from membership dues had largely been covered by savings of 2013 bumper harvest. The Draft Budget for 2019 totalling up to Eighteen Million One hundred and Ninety Thousand naira only (N18,190,000.00) was presented by Chairman Enaibe. It is expected to cover the year-long activities of two Technical Sessions- Business Outlook in Q1, HSE Awards Event and Technical Session in Q2.Q3 involves organising training for the Chapter’s field personnel alongside Government and Regulatory Events and Q4 wraps up with the AGM. The draft budget also covers International travels for IADC Conferences, The Secretariat, General Administration and Auditors fees.

Representatives of IADC NIGERIA CHAPTER Member companies in attendance

Olusola Ismail, Secretary of Board Of Trustees (BOT) IADC NIGERIA CHAPTER questioned the rationale of holding the Nigeria Chapter-hosted African Drilling Conference in Ghana, factoring costs, logistics and practicalities rather than Nigeria. Hisham Zebian, Regional Representative IADC Body for Europe, Middle East and Africa whilst agreeing that perceived misinformation about Nigeria contributed to the decision, highlighted cumbersome visa application process by interested attendees from other IADC Chapters as a contributory reason. Ben Agadagba, Member Board Of Trustee IADC NIGERIA chipped in the need for increased participation by heads of drilling companies. Uche of SeaDrill pressed for increased involvement of the IADC NIGERIA CHAPTER in hydrocarbon industry policy drafting process.

Other pertinent issues being tackled by the association include the DPR’s newly-introduced $650 per-rig operative-per annum Offshore Safety Passport (OSP) for offshore rig operations, the combination of PLI, Annual Condition Survey and the fuel storage on rig operations all bundled into one Annual Condition Survey. Weeding out Portfolio drilling contractors and regularising registration procedure(s). Technical sessions for field operatives in oil cities of Port-Harcourt, Uyo etc. Sponsorship, increasing members and Associate Members lists from IOCs, NOCs and Service Companies. Forthcoming change of address by January 2019.


Delivering Impactful Reservoir Management

The Neftemer Multiphase Flow Meter measures the void fraction of the dispersed fluid phase within the continuous physical mixture of oil, gas and water …

The current, industry-wide practice of sequentially feeding the flow from each well once a month, to a central test separator so as to evaluate the well production performance and determine the flowrate of each phase (oil, gas and water) after separation, is unrepresentative and inaccurate. Wells seldom flow at constant rates and the ‘one-day’ test separator rate is a random sample of one out of thirty possible rates. This is statistically insignificant.

Furthermore, of the total flow station phase flows, only the oil rate is accurately directly measured for obvious fiscal reasons. The gas flow will usually be diverted to the flare where the bulk gas may or may not be measured. The water rate is rarely measured. Instead the samples are frequently taken either at wellhead or at separator and sent to the lab for BSW determination. The results are rarely available within six weeks! Consequently, when and if flow station flows are used for back allocation to the various wells, only the oil rate has a chance of being accurate to the extent of the limitation of the ‘one-day’ separator test rate practice mentioned above. Back allocation of the gas and water rate remain problematic.

In practice, total flow station flow rates are rarely used even when the oil rate injected into a bulk export line is accurately metered e.g. via an available LACT unit. Rather each contributory flow station is assigned a volume based on a so-called reconciliation factor, determination of which is opaque in most cases. Genuine line and other losses (theft!) are shared in a manner not entirely satisfactory to all parties leading to endless disputes between terminal owners, operators and regulators. Clearly using these reconciled rates for back allocation to the wells is a formidable challenge the industry has faced almost since the beginning. The practice simple does not make room for the representative and accurate determination of oil, gas and water rates simultaneously required for optimal tuning of the well, and effective reservoir management practices. Operators are forced to move in the blind for much of the time!

Production engineers need to know if the well is operating within its performance envelope or not and tune it appropriately. Reservoir engineers need accurate oil, gas and water rates to carry out meaningful material balance calculations and determine total underground withdrawal for each reservoir; run realistic reservoir simulation models and generate meaningful medium and long term production forecasts for the business. Current operations practice and use of ‘one-day’ test separator rates simply do not allow for these essential and critical calculations to be accurately carried out. The practice also leads to endless disputations between the operator and the regulator over which volumes royalty calculations should be based.

One alternative to the use of test separators is the use of Multiphase Flow Meters. The key information required from a Multiphase Flow Meter includes the flow rate of oil, gas and water. The ideal way to obtain these measurements is by direct and independent measurement at the wellheads before separation.

The Neftemer Multiphase Flow Meter measures the void fraction of the dispersed fluid phase within the continuous physical mixture of oil, gas and water to determine first, the flow regime of the mixture and then determine the flowrate of each phase in a non-intrusive, continuous and consistent manner over a long period of time. It can be used to compliment or even replace test separators.

They are cheap (costing below one fifth of a conventional multiphase meter), are non-intrusive, immune to sand particles and wax deposition. They are also portable, a fact which makes them ideal for offshore applications and rerouting from well to well on a needs basis.

Oil Industry Continues To Support the Lagos Book & Art Festival


The oil industry in Nigeria is stepping forward again this year, in support of the Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF), the largest culture picnic in Africa and the continent’s most invigorating feast of the written word.

The 20th edition runs from November 5 to 11, 2018.

The most avid supporters have been Pillar Oil and the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources, two Nigerian independents.

They have both backed the Festival for Eight of the last 20 Years. Pillar has been particularly generous this year. So has Marine Platforms, a growing oil service firm which was first invited last year. It has come across as the most enthusiastic of the new backers.  Energy & Mineral Resources, a subsurface evaluation firm, has also been helpful.

The theme of this year’s festival is Renewal: A World That Works For All, a subject that is inspired by the need to reflect on the possibilities of shaping the country into a capable state, as the nation’s democracy turns 20 and the sixth general elections in the Fourth Republic are about to hold. The 10 core books, lined up for conversation over the course of the weeklong Festival, reflect, in various ways, ideas of nation building.

Toba Akinmoladun, CEO, NDPR…The company is an enthusiastic supporter

This initiative to strengthen the foundations of Nigeria as a literate society has also been supported, in the past, by Lekoil, a London listed Nigerian operator.

Neconde E&P, which weighed in with its backing in 2015, Midwestern Oil and Gas, which gave significant financial support in 2013 and  Esso Exploration Nigeria, the deepwater subsidiary of ExxonMobil in the country.

Hosted at the Freedom Park, site of an old colonial prison renovated into scenic grounds incorporating an art gallery, an auditorium, a museum, food court, amphitheatre and concert space, LABAF runs two parallel programmes; (1) the Adult programme involving discussions around books, book exhibition and fair, visual art display, poetry slam and musical performances, film screenings and art stampede and (2) a workshop-heavy, interactive Youth programme catering to young people between the ages of 9 and 16.

LABAF’s proposition to Nigeria’s leading oil explorers is to use the event to bolster their image as companies keen on the idea of rejuvenating the culture of book reading and engagement with ideas.

Nigeria is home to 170Million people and part of LABAF’s raison d’être is to convert as many as possible of this number into true human capital.

The Festival encourages oil companies to bring young people from the communities where they operate to participate in the Festival’s youth programme, which involves three days of literacy and literary exercises, art and craft workshops, mentorship and book reviews.

Outside these corporate brands, a number of selfless individual oil workers back the Festival in a significant way; by donating the books that are then sent to reviewers and discussants who make up the panels in the several readings and discussion segments which constitute LABAF.

Dickson Okotie, a consultant Early Production Facility (EPF) engineer, shipped in 10 books in 2013.

Bashir Koledoye, a former Chevron geologist who now owns a geoscience consultancy firm named D’Harmattan, bought copies of nine books in 2014, donated money for books in 2015 and in 2016 delivered six copies of three books (two for each) including The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany, Terrorism and the Politics of Fear by David Altheide, and The Spirit of Terrorism, by Jean Baudrillard.

In 2014, Caritas  PR, a reputation management company focused on the industry, founded by Dayo Ojo, an ExxonMobil “alumnus”, ordered fifteen copies of both the French scholar Thomas Picketty’s hefty tome: Capital in the 21st Century and Dambisa Moyo’s How The West Was Lost, for review and conversation at the Festival. A year after, Caritas donated copies of Joe Stiglitz’s new book: The Great Divide, Unequal Societies and What To Do With Them.

In 2015, Shell geologist Kehinde Olafiranye shipped in 20 copies of books, including Tom Burgis’ The Looting Machine and Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land for the purpose of two sessions at the 17th LABAF.

The earliest donors of books to the Festival included Layiwola Adeniji, a Chevron Nigeria communications specialist and Adedoja Ojelabi, former President of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) as well as Femi Aisida, a former Petroleum Engineer with Shell, each donating upwards of 20 books for three consecutive years between 2011 and 2013.

LABAF organisers are encouraged by this show of support for the finer elements of human civilisation by companies and individuals whose jobs involve the old fashioned business of extracting fossil fuels. “This tells us something”, says Jahman Anikulapo, programme chairman of the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) and the Festival Director, “The Lagos Book and Art Festival is an important event and we will keep driving it”.


Toyin Akinosho, publisher Africa Oil+Gas Report and Secretary General of CORA, organisers of LABAF.



Three In One Quality Marks Out NigerStar 7ADABA

By Foluso Ogunsan


The NigerStar7 ADABA, a recently acquired vessel by NigerStar7, was unveiled at a renaming ceremony  held at the NigerDock facility, its first port of call on the 20th of September 2018. NigerStar7 is a Nigerian joint venture company formed by the Jagal Group and SubSea7, an offshore pipeline-laying and subsea infrastructure deployment organisation that had previously operated, exited and re-entered the Nigerian oil service industry.

NigerStar7 ADABA is described by Yann Cottart, CEO of NigerStar7, as “an Anchor Handling Tug and Supply vessel that is wholly-owned and flagged as a Nigerian ocean-going vessel entirely manned by a Nigerian crew of 14 persons”. This tripartite quality, Mr. Cottart, explains, ”makes it a first in the Nigerian offshore service industry”. Cottart claims that the vessel is “the most powerful anchor handling tug operating in Nigeria presently with a bollard pull of 140 tons. It can tow rigs and large-capacity supply vessels, retrieving and deploying anchor in deep offshore environment.” Mr, Cottart allows that the tugboat is “permanently imported and equity-financed through international lending of $10Million  in direct investment into the country. Ancillary services will add further $10Million in the next five years

Built in 2008, the Dynamically Positioned (DP2) vessel measures 70metres in length, summer draft of 6.1metres, deadweight of 2114.74metric tonne, gross tonnage of 2,705metric tonne, lightship of 2,539.51metric tonne, with applicable fire-fighting capability for both offshore and portside fires. The deck space measures 462square metres. It has a 52-bunk capacity, 14 crew members inclusive”. This tug has two Operation stations OS1 and OS2 equipped with three individual 680 kilowatt thrusters, two at the Bow, the third at the Stern. The thrusters allow the DP2 vessel to operate and switch stations without changing positions. A 2.2 metric tonne telescopic boom crane sits mid-ship the vessel. The vessel comes equipped with Electronic Fuel Monitoring System.” He further stated safety, integrity, innovation and performance as the bedrock of the NigeStar7 brand which aims to compete internationally.

For a vessel that has been operational a decade in, won’t its servitude time in Nigeria ebb quicker? “Not so!”, states Maher Jarmakani, Group CEO of the Jagal Group, one-half of the joint venture partnership- NigerStar7. “It’s not uncommon for vessels this kind to run a 25-year lifespan and still be useful”. With two jobs at hand, first-off the Erha Field onwards to Qua Iboe Terminal, both ExxonMobil facilities, the NigerStar7 ADABA has started off her Nigerian service life running. Port/Yard dockings during off-peak periods will largely be determined by economical factors of costs and benefits.

This is a sponsored article.







Oilserv In Bed with GEPetrol


The Nigerian engineering oil service company Oilserv Limited, is bolstering its Pan African credentials by getting into a joint venture with GEpetrol, the state hydrocarbon company of Equatorial Guinea.

The agreement between the two, signed in early July 2018, has resulted in the formation of OILSERV EQUATORIAL GUINEA S.L.

“The Joint Venture Partnership is a collective strategic thinking aimed at driving inbound investment into the Equatorial Guinea Oil/Gas landscape and to develop the necessary local technical capacity to support the investment aimed at repositioning the national economy”, the two companies say in a press release. “In this new collaboration, Oilserv brings its vast years of technical experience and successful delivery of projects to replicate its achievements in Equatorial Guinea oil and gas industry in partnership with GEpetrol”.

Oilserv is the most visible hydrocarbon pipeline installation firm in Nigeria; its order book is the key guide to the most important crude oil or natural gas pipeline construction is going on in Nigeria. Currently it is constructing half of the OB3 pipeline, the 48 inch, 67km line that is scheduled to be the nerve of the country’s imminent gas grid.

The company has however, been keen on expanding its footprints all over the African continent. It is involved in negotiations with the Ugandan government over a gas pipeline from the hydrocarbon rich town of Hoima to Kanugu, site of a proposed Iron and Steel factory. Its subsidiary, Frazimex, once took a position in Sierra Leone, as an E&P operator.

But to have formed a Joint Venture company with Equatorial Guinea’s state hydrocarbon firm is big deal.

There are no details on the project that the Joint Venture will start with, but GEpetrol’s credentials provide a clue: the company manages the Equatorial Guinea State’s participation in petroleum contracts, markets the State’s share of production and participates in oil service activities. In the midstream area, GEpetrol is a partner in the Equatorial Guinea Liquified Natural Gas Company and in other ventures, So that’s a clue: Equatorial Guinea has just created a hub for natural gas supplies, which will, in the first instance, introduce third party gas into the Punto Europa complex that was, until now, only supplied with gas from Marathon Oil operated Alba field. If the Equatorial Guinea government is thinking of pipeline to supply gas into that complex from any field that is some distance away, then Oilserv has the capacity to do it.

‘’I am delighted to welcome yet another global brand to GEpetrol, especially a respected and recognized name in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry”, says Antonio OBURU ONDO, Chief Executive of GePetrol. “This new partnership is a testament of the government continuous efforts in encouraging private sector participation with greater economic liberalization policies and the creation of favourable investment climate and enabling framework”.


Shell Plots A Return To Angola

By Moses Aremu, Editor

Anglo Dutch major Shell is keen on purchasing the operator stake in Angola’s Blocks 21/09 and 20/11, two very prospective acreages in the deepwater Kwanza Basin. These are the assets that Cobalt Energy, the US minnow, operated in the country until 2015, when it sought to sell its 40% stake in them to Sonangol, the state hydrocarbon company, for $1.75Billion.

That transaction fell apart in 2016, and Cobalt took Sonangol to international arbitration over its failure to extend the licence deadlines. The two companies reached a settlement-Sonangol reported in December 2017- which called for Sonangol paying $150Million by February 23, 2018 and a further $350Million by July 1, 2018.  

Sonangol has now put up, for auction, Cobalt’s 40% stake and operatorship of these assets.

Observers see Shell’s interest in the blocks as a way of re-entering the country. Cobalt’s 2016 annual report indicated that it made seven discoveries in the blocks with a total of 750Million gross barrels of oil equivalent. A significant part of the volume is natural gas, the hydrocarbon fluid type that Shell is most interested in trading with.

Shell went to Sonangol’s data showroom in Houston on early June 2018, with a delegation of about a dozen officials and the company was widely speculated as the leading contender for the assets.

Shell was one of the earliest entrants into the deepwater activity in Angola between the early and late 1990s. Its Bengo-1 well, drilled in Block 16, tested 1,780BOPD in one reservoir, the first discovery in deepwater Angola. The company’s initial enthusiasm about the structure was restrained by the well’s high gas cap and pancake thin reservoirs, but Shell was willing to risk an early production. The enthusiasm waned when Bengo-2 turned out to miss even the thin bed that was of such fascinating interest in Bengo-1. Then the more it drilled, the less fortunate the company got.  Whereas other operators: TOTAL, Chevron, ExxonMobil, even BP, went on to make discovery after giant discovery, Shell got trapped in a run of ill luck, drilling nine wells in Block 16, most with marginal results. This is curious, because Block 16 is located between the two most successful leases in the country: ExxonMobil’s Block 15 to the north and TOTAL’s Block 17 to the south. The last well Shell drilled in Block 16 was Chiluango-1 which was abandoned in early November 1998 as a dry well. In 1999, the company packed out of Angola and shifted its gaze to Nigeria where, by 1996, it had become sure of the deliverability of its huge Bonga structure, located in the upper slope of the deepwater Niger Delta.

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